MEP Cristiana Muscardini @ European Business Summit 2014: International Trade in Europe

Christiana Muscardini

Cristiana Muscardini, Italian MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Vice Chair of Committee on International Trade

Written by Cristiana Muscardini, Italian MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Vice Chair of Committee on International Trade

The common commercial policy is a pillar for the external relations of the European Union. It is based on a set of uniform rules under the Customs Union and the Common Customs Tariff and governs the commercial relations of the Member States with Non-EU Member Countries. 

The purpose of the instruments of trade defence and market access is mainly to protect European businesses from obstacles to trade. The EU has evolved during the process of globalisation by aiming for the harmonious development of world trade and fostering fairness and sustainability. 

It actively encourages the opening of the markets and the development of trade in the multilateral framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). At the same time, it supports developing countries and regions through bilateral relations with a view to involving them in world trade using preferential measures.

This is just a summary of the EU external trade as it appears on the European Commission website. Clear objectives which sound differently when applied at the reality. We face serious concerns which we shall oppose with a steady hand and a determinate political decision. I am speaking about dumping, counterfeiting, unfair trade, lack of reciprocity in the application of the rules, made-in labelling, human rights’ protection, different customs’ rules, food security and health care, etc. .. 

Therefore the opening of markets worldwide has created problems we are not longer able to face with our previous instruments. 

Protectionism has always been the general rule when a product was trying to invade a market, destroying local production. Today the common rules is the respect of treaties born to prevent protection and distortions. 

Trade policy, among others, became an exclusive EU competence on which the European Parliament has a great responsibility. This condition gives the chance to fill the gap between businesses and Institutions on one hand and allows MEP, elected by the citizens, to mange a stronger political and legislative role, raising their voices in the dialectic approach with the other EU Institutions.

Made-in Regulation is a practical example. It is a Parliament proposal (adopted twice by a large majority) on the compulsory indication of marking of origin of products entering in Europe form third countries, the same regulation nowaday in force in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, China and other major EU trade competitors and partners. 

I was rapporteur on this Regulation in October 2010 and I have tabled “ad hoc” amendments covering marking of origin label in the last Regulation on the Consumer Products Safety adopted by the Plenary last. 

The Council had deaf ears to this request, remaining divided without having a majority of countries in favour. Germany and some northern European countries strongly opposed, threatening in this way the right of citizens to be duly informed on the origin of the products they purchase on the market and thus reducing their quality. The same situation repeating with the fight against counterfeiting and dumping. Besides the complexity and the long duration of these procedures, a waste of time for businesses having to face unfair competitors, several governments, especially those of non-manufacturing countries, still do not consider anti-dumping or anti-counterfeiting procedures as appropriate measures.

Unfair competition produces victims and many companies, especially small ones, are forced to close their doors. Another handicap for Italian firms is the complexity and cumbersome of bureaucracy governing our customs. A container that comes to Genova takes a week to be cleared through customs, if the same container reaches Rotterdam harbour takes only one day. 

It is easy to see the damage caused by this difference in timing. I fought for years in the Parliament asking common rules for the European customs without any result.

We do not doubt EU strategy to strengthen economic relations and to defend European interests worldwide but we do ask for common rules especially in a globalised world. EU should adapt its objectives bearing in mind the current global challenges and the importance of EU sustainable growth by 2020. We do need to conclude Doha Round negotiations, moving forward with Bali declarations and insist on the importance to ease the access of developing countries to external markets, mainly in the areas of services and agriculture. We do need to increase the WTO dispute settlement systems and its supervisory capacity; to increase its IPRs and businesses innovation, its policy on public procurements and competition; its attention on consumer choices and protection.

We should give importance to the EU investment policy, especially for SMEs when they try to penetrate in third countries’ markets. 

Next EU Elections in May shall represent another step forward in the creation of a trade policy which  will be able to eliminate distortions weakening EU businesses and consumers. A policy which will launch on third markets quality products, the excellences of our countries. I do hope that the newly elected members will follow the path we have already traced in order to create a fair and better global trade.

About the Author

Cristiana Muscardini (born on 6 November 1948 in Cannobio) is an Italian politician and Member of the European Parliament for North-West Italy with Conservative Social Reformers’ Movement. Muscardini has sat in the European Conservatives and Reformists group since October 2012. She sits on the European Parliament’sCommittee on International Trade and is a substitute for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Muscardini was formerly a member of the National Alliance and the Italian Social Movement. She was a co-president of the Union for a Europe of Nations and general secretary of the associated Europarty, the Alliance for Europe of the Nations. She joined the Group of the European People’s Party when the National Alliance merged with Forza Italia to create The People of Freedom in 2009. In 2010, Muscardini joined the dissident group Future and Freedom, led by Chamber of Deputies president Gianfranco Fini. She is regional coordinator in Lombardy for the pro-Fini Generation Italy foundation.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN court increases sentence of former Bosnian-Serb leader to life imprisonment

Alarming level of reprisals against activists, human rights defenders, and victims – new UN report

Can Argentina’s new president save the country’s economy?

Commission announces actions to make Europe’s raw materials supply more secure and sustainable

‘Massive and protracted’ humanitarian crisis in DR Congo can be ‘beaten back’ if donors step up

Competition: The European Commission launches a process to address the issue of collective bargaining for the self-employed

Mental health problems costing Europe heavily

We need to talk: UN gears up for 75th anniversary with Global Conversations

Tropical Cyclone Idai affects 1.5 million across Mozambique and Malawi, as UN ramps up response

Coronavirus has exposed human rights gaps. We need to fix this

Commission supports normalisation in Greece through activation of post-programme framework

Do not take the EP’s consent on MFF for granted, says Budget Committee Chair

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

At least 2.5 million migrants were smuggled in 2016, first UN global study shows

EU invests in green projects and bans single-use plastics while climate change requires more to be done

Work to make the world a better place: 5 things you need to know about ‘green jobs’

Ending extreme poverty crucial to sustainable future for all: UN chief

Brazil identifies a clear pathway for aligning its transfer pricing framework with the OECD standard

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Metallo by Aurubis

From Shadows to Sunlight, Paraguay’s Road to Transparency

Macron plans for Europe, Brexit and banks but vague on France

Trade: EU-Singapore agreement to enter into force on 21 November 2019

In The Bahamas, Guterres sees impact of ‘Category Hell’ hurricane, ‘powered by climate change’

World Malaria Day: 7 things to know about the deadly disease

How poor countries can deal with the economic shock of COVID-19

EU Commission – US hasten talks to avoid NGO reactions on free trade agreement

Further reforms will promote a stronger and more inclusive Hungarian economy

UN welcomes progress in former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia naming dispute

Europe is now practically divided as in the Cold War

Why youth unemployment is so difficult to counter

Destroying nuclear waste to create clean energy? It can be done

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

Future EU-UK Partnership: European Commission takes first step to launch negotiations with the United Kingdom

Spain will soon overtake Japan in life expectancy rankings. Here’s why

Yemen: Tackling the world’s largest humanitarian crisis

MEPs cap prices of calls within EU and approve emergency alert system

What does strategy have to do with a platform approach?

Coronavirus: Commission continues expanding future vaccines portfolio with new talks

The vehicles of our future

Taxation: Commission refers Germany to the Court for its failure to apply EU rules on VAT for farmers

The ‘American Dream’ can be best achieved in the Nordic nations, says Finland’s PM

Horn of Africa: UN chief welcomes Djibouti agreement between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia

Strong multilateral institutions key to tackling world’s dramatic challenges, UN chief says In Moscow

Coronavirus COVID-19 wipes $50 billion off global exports in February alone, as IMF pledges support for vulnerable nations

Brexit must not put UK university research at risk

As Alan Turing makes the £50 note, how do countries design their currencies?

Ireland’s planning to make its Emerald Isle even greener

Coronavirus fears may have driven over 300,000 UK smokers to quit

The different ways of care: Is there a general rule to follow?

‘All atrocity crimes are preventable’ and can never be justified – UN chief

European Innovation Scoreboard 2018: Europe must deepen its innovation edge

‘Exercise restraint’ Guterres urges Sri Lankans, as political crisis deepens

Renewable energy could power the world by 2050. Here’s what that future might look like

Here’s how we reboot digital trade for the 21st century

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Trump’s trade wars: Aiming at long term gains for America

Four key challenges for cybersecurity leaders

Minsk “ceasefire” leaves more doubts than safety, with EU already planning steps further

Pandemic mental health: the urgency of self-care

This disease once wiped out 60% of Europe’s population – and now it’s back

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s